BTS, also known as Bangtan Boys (Hangul방탄소년단; RRBangtan Sonyeondan; lit. Bulletproof Boy Scouts),[2] is a seven-member South Korean boy group formed by Big Hit Entertainment.

They debuted on June 13, 2013, with the song "No More Dream" from their first album, 2 Cool 4 Skool, for which they won several "New Artist of the Year" awards including those at the 2013 MelOn Music Awards and Golden Disk Awards, and the 2014 Seoul Music Awards. A year after their debut, they received major bonsang awards for their subsequent albums Dark & Wild and The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 1.

BTS continued rising to widespread prominence with their Most Beautiful Moment in Life trilogy, with The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 2 and The Most Beautiful Moment In Life: Young Forever both debuting inside the Billboard 200.[3] The Most Beautiful Moment In Life, Part 2 also charted at number one on the Billboard World Albums Chart and remained there for multiple weeks, making BTS the first K-Pop act to achieve that feat.[4] Known for their large international fanbase, having performed in Asia, Europe, Australia, North America, and South America, BTS's outstanding performances won them the Best World Performer award in the 2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards.

BTS are known for their large social media presence, and were named by Forbes as the most retweeted artist on Twitter in March 2016.[5] Following that, Twitter launched its first ever K-Pop Twitter emoji featuring BTS.[6]

History

Pre-debut

BTS's first members were recruited through Big Hit's "Hit it" auditions in 2010 and 2011. The original lineup for Bangtan went through several changes before the final group of members was established in 2012. Half a year prior to debut, the members began building their name and creating a relationship with fans through Twitter, video blogs, fancafe posts, and by releasing various song covers via YouTube and SoundCloud.[7]

Before debuting in 2013, Rap Monster was already performing as an underground rapper and had released several tracks informally, including a collaboration with Zico.[9][10] Suga was also an underground rapper in Daegu,[11] and J-Hope, who was part of a street dance team named NEURON, was active in the underground dancing scene, participating in various battles and competitions.[12] Before joining Big Hit, Jimin entered Busan High School of Arts as a top student in modern dance, but later transferred to Korea Arts High School with V, who auditioned in Daegu.[13] Jungkook was casted by multiple agencies after leaving auditions for Superstar K, but eventually chose Big Hit,[14] whilst Jin had been a student at Konkuk University before being streetcast for auditions.

2013–2014: Debut with 2 Cool 4 Skool, Dark & Wild, and Wake Up

The first album of BTS's "school trilogy" series and their debut single album, 2 Cool 4 Skool, was released on June 13, 2013, with the lead single "No More Dream".[2][15] On September 11, BTS released their first mini-album, O!RUL8,2?, which consisted of 10 tracks.

They also starred in their own variety show, SBS-MTV's Rookie King Channel Bangtan. The premise of the show was based on a fake broadcast station, "Channel Bangtan", through which the members parodied variety shows including VJ Special Forces and MasterChef Korea. Rookie King Channel Bangtan premiered its eight-episode run on September 3, 2013.

On December 9, 2013, Suga was diagnosed with appendicitis while promoting with the group in Japan. He was flown back to Korea to receive surgery and was therefore unable to participate in the 2014 Idol Star Athletics Championships or BTS's SBS Gayo Daejeon and MBC Gayo Daejejeon year-end performances.[16][17]

The third part of the "school trilogy", their second mini-album Skool Luv Affair was released on February 12, 2014.[18][19] BTS promoted the album's title track "Boy in Luv (상남자)", releasing its music video on February 11.[20] BTS came back with "Just One Day (하루만)" with its music video released on April 6.[21] The band's Japanese debut album, 2 Cool 4 Skool, was released on April 23; their first single was a Japanese version of "No More Dream".[3]

On June 14, BTS took part in the Bridge to Korea Festival in Russia, an event that aimed to promote tourism between the two countries. There, they became judges of a K-pop cover dance competition and later performed on stage in front of 10,000 spectators.[3] The group also attended KCON in Los Angeles alongside Girls' Generation and other artists on August 10, 2014.[3]

On August 19, BTS released their music video for their comeback single, "Danger" from their first full album, Dark & Wild which sold over 109,098 copies. They made a comeback with "War of Hormone (호르몬 전쟁)", a track from Dark & Wild. Its music video was released on October 21, 2014.[3] BTS continued to promote in Japan, releasing their first Japanese studio album, Wake Up, on December 24. This album not only included Japanese versions of their songs, but also their first Japanese original tracks: "Wake Up" and "The Stars".[3]

BTS performed at the 2014 Mnet Asian Music Awards red carpet event and had a collaboration stage with Block B during the awards show.[3] BTS then held their first concert tour, 2014 BTS Live Trilogy – Episode II: The Red Bullet, throughout October, November, and December. They toured Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, and Malaysia.[3]

2015–present: The Most Beautiful Moment in Life

From February 10 to 19, BTS kicked off their first Japan tour, Wake Up: Open Your Eyes. They toured Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and Fukuoka, and performed for 25,000 fans.[3] On March 20, member Rap Monster released his first mixtape: RM, releasing three music videos for tracks: "Awakening (각성) ", "Do You", and "Joke (농담)".[3] On March 28, BTS held their second solo concert in Korea, BTS Live Trilogy – Episode 1: BTS Begins.[3]

The group's third EP, The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 1, was released on April 29, 2015.[4] It was listed in June by Fuse as one of the "27 Best Albums of 2015 So Far" and was the only Korean album listed that year.[4] On May 5, 2015, their title track "I Need U" won first place on SBS MTV's The Show, which marked their first win since their debut.[4] Signal Entertainment announced that The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Part 1 had sold over 180,000 copies since its release.[4]

On June 4, 2015, BTS released their fourth Japanese single, "For You", to celebrate their first anniversary of their Japanese debut,[4] with its music video released on the same day. The single climbed to the top on Oricon's daily chart, selling 42,611 copies within its first day.[4] On June 23, BTS released their music video for their follow up single, "Dope (쩔어)", receiving 1,000,000 views in less than 15 hours.[4] "Dope (쩔어)" rose to its peak at number 3 on Billboard's World Digital Chart despite being released two months earlier.[4]

The group's world tour, 2015 Live Trilogy Episode: The Red Bullet, continued with stops in Malaysia, Latin America, Australia, the U.S., and ended in Hong Kong on August 29.[4] BTS was a part of the 2015 Summer Sonic Festival tour in Japan, performing on August 15 at Tokyo's QVC Marine Field and on the 16th in Osaka.[4][5] On September 8, it was announced that BTS would have a comeback with the second part of The Most Beautiful Moment in Life album on November 30. They also held a three-day concert tour, The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: On Stage from November 27 to 29, where they showcased their title track, "Run".[5][5] On October 19, it was announced that BTS would be the new brand ambassador for sports brand Puma.[5] The band released the Japanese version of "I Need U" as their fifth Japanese single on December 8.[5]

In January 2016, Nexon announced that they will be releasing character avatars based on the members for their RPG game, Elsword.[5] They were also selected as the new models for SK Telecom company in February.[5] BTS released their sixth Japanese single, "Run", on March 15.[5] They released a special compilation album, The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever, on May 2; they held two days of concerts at Olympic Stadium Gymnastics Arena in Seoul from May 7 to 8 in support of their albums.[5] The concerts were successful, with a capacity crowd of 24,000 fans in attendance.[5]

Artistry and musical influences

The group's musical style and image ranges from a tough, "bad boy" image to a more youthful image, nevertheless mainly influenced by hip hop and R&B. MTV's Corynn Smith stated that BTS has incorporated hip hop beats and rock-inspired elements for their singles: "Danger" and "Boy in Luv (상남자)".[52] BTS has been labelled as "K-pop's Social Conscience" by Jeff Benjamin from Fuse, who wrote that the group has found "a way to speak honestly about topics they deem important, even in a conservative society."[53]

Through their many releases, BTS has tackled school bullying, the pursuit of happiness and rejecting society's ideals in their lyrics.[53] They play an active role producing their music, and all members participate in the musical and lyrical composition of their songs.[9] In 2016, their lyrics in "War of Hormone" and Rap Monster's solo song "Joke" came under fire for having misogynistic lyrics. The group's label later issued an apology.[6][6]

Members

[9][6]

Discography

Tours and concerts

Korean/Asian Tour

  • 2014 BTS Live Trilogy-Episode II: The Red Bullet (2014)
  • BTS Live Trilogy Episode I: BTS Begins (2015)
  • The Most Beautiful Moment in Life On Stage (2015)
  • The Most Beautiful Moment in Life On Stage: Epilogue (2016)

Japan Tour

  • BTS's First Japan Tour-Wake Up: Open Your Eyes (2015)

World Tour

Filmography

Television

Reality/Variety Shows

YearTitleNetworkMember(s)Note(s)
2013Rookie King: Channel BangtanSBS MTVAllBTS-based reality show, Episode 1-8
After School ClubArirangEpisode 24
20142014 Idol Star Athletics ChampionshipsMBC
A Song For YouKBS World
4 Things Show - Rap MonsterMnetRap MonsterDocumentary about him, Episode 3
American Hustle LifeAllBTS-based reality show, Episode 1-8
BTS GO!Mnet AmericaBTS-based reality show
Yinyuetai BTS China Job
After School ClubArirangEpisode 46
Weekly IdolMBC Every 1Episode 144
ASC After ShowArirangRap Monster, JiminEpisode 56
Rap MonsterEpisode 63
Episode 64
Beatles Code 3DMnetAll
ASC After ShowArirangJimin, Jungkook, Rap MonsterEpisode 68
Episode 70
After School ClubAllEpisode 95
100 Choice, Best RamyunMBC Every 1J-Hope
2015Problematic MentvNRap MonsterEpisode 1-22
4 Things Show - MFBTYMnetDocumentary about Tiger JK, Episode 11 (2)
Yaman TVAllEpisode 24
Hello CounselorKBSRap Monster, VEpisode 223
Star KingSBSEpisode 413
Running ManRap MonsterEpisode 265
Same Bed, Different DreamsEpisode 32
Quiz to Change the WorldMBCEpisode 315
Weekly IdolMBC Every 1AllEpisode 203
Episode 229
After School ClubArirangEpisode 158
Idol Star Athletics ChampionshipsMBCChuseok Special Part 1
Chuseok Special Part 2
After School ClubArirangEpisode 191
2016Birth of a RapstarMBCRap MonsterDocumentary special
The Boss is WatchingSBSAllEpisode 1
Idol Star Athletics ChampionshipsMBCLunar New Year Special Part 1
Lunar New Year Special Part 2
National Idol Singing ContestKBS2Episode 1
Celebrity BromanceMBig TVVMobile reality show with Kim Min-jae, Episode 1-4
Star KingSBSJ-Hope, V
Close-up Observation Diary on Idol: Find MeMBig TVRap MonsterReality show about his daily life, Episode 2
Star KingSBSRap Monster, J-Hope, Jimin
Running ManAllEpisode 300
Celebrity BromanceMBig TVJungkookMobile reality show with Lee Min-woo

Television Dramas

YearTitleNetworkMember(s)Role(s)Note(s)
2016Hwarang: The BeginningKBS2VHan-sung

Videography

Awards and nominations